nytheatre.com review by Saara Dutton
David Ackerman’s comedy Shredders tries to mine comedic potential
out of the humdrum world of document shredders. Director Tore Ingersoll-Thorp
even instructs us before the show that Shredders is "a comedy, so
you’d better laugh." Despite that admonition, there are few laughs to be
had. However, this certainly isn’t for lack of effort. The energetic
cast gives us high-octane performances, working up a sweat as they try
to squeeze yuks out of the tired, sit-com style dialogue. This type of
ping-pong cadence was fresh when Seinfeld did it, but now seems
August 15, 2003
Still, it is important to give kudos to the actors, who are a truly talented bunch. Scott Becker plays Presto, one of two document shredders in a nondescript office. Presto is the ring leader, and Becker’s manic portrayal is spot on. Michael Jay Henry imbues fellow shredder Werner with goofy charm. Gilbert Vela plays his part of a nebbish co-worker named Hector admirably.
Trying to escape their dull work-a-day surroundings, Presto and Werner create a bizarre fantasy life, dreaming up ever more ridiculous scenarios. We watch them employing the piles of shredded paper as props in their dreamscape. This is one of the funnier aspects of the play.
The set, with its stark black background, piles of white shredded paper and florescent lighting, is very effective. I also enjoyed the interesting choices of music in between acts.
It is unfortunate that I cannot wholeheartedly recommend this play because you can really feel the effort being put forth. The actors are really giving all they have to make the audience laugh, which is why it’s so sad that the script lets them down and the show falls flat.